Second-life storage market will explode post-2020

The volume of lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles (EV) available for second-life storage systems will explode from 2020, as the EV market starts to mature.

By 2020 around 5.2GWh of used batteries will be available, compared to 0.1GWh this year. The capacity will soar to 29GWh by 2025.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), which released the figures, said it estimates around 10GWh by 2025 will be suitable for storage projects, but several market barriers exist.

These include the value of used batteries is still to be decided, car companies are currently refusing to warranty used batteries for uses outside of vehicles, and there is a lack standardisation across the EV battery market.

By 2018 the £ per kWh cost of repurposing used EV batteries will have halved to £36.75/kWh ($49/kWh), but BNEF said it is not clear whether second life batteries will remain cheaper than new batteries by the mid-2020s.

The batteries are the most expensive part of an EV and are currently no older than five years. By 8-10 years’ batteries are expected to experience energy loss, losing enough capacity to significantly affect driving range at which point they are replaced or the car is scrapped.

Such batteries can still have as much as 70 percent of their initial energy left, allowing them to be reused for stationary storage purposes.

Earlier this year automotive manufacturer Nissan entered the domestic storage market with its xStorage product which reuses 12 Nissan EV battery modules.

Nissan is also working in with storage company Powervault. The partnership expects to release a second-life powered product onto the market later this year.